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Jason Sindel

The opening number for Brett Dennen's concert at the Old Rock House on Monday night was a good as any indicator that this boyish, red-haired, singer-songwriting phenom has some love issues.

Ever since the first National Folk Festival was held here in 1934, St. Louis has served as an ambassador for the eclectic mix of music called folk. So it's fitting that KDHX, the Sheldon and St. Louis serve as the host for the Folk & Roots Festival, now in its third year.

Like the heroin-fueled fantasies of William S. Burroughs, Timber Timbre's songs are dark sojourns into dangerous wilds where murder and violence creep just beneath the verdant musical undergrowth and a troubled, moody psyche stalks his prey in a lonesome hunt.

To know what Reverend Horton Heat is, you have to know rockabilly, the genre of music arising out of direct lineage to the rock 'n' roll, country and R&B of the '50s.

Amos Lee is a hard man to put a label on. Right down to his name (it's a stage name), his genre -- an eclectic mix of rock, R&B, country and folk -- and his songs -- equal parts funky and soulful, serious and playful.

Among the legends of bluegrass, there are few living with accomplishments that equal Dr. Ralph Stanley.

From the Greek, "phenomena" means, "to show, shine, appear, to be manifest (or manifest itself)" -- an occurrence that is a given, a force of nature that becomes the object of a person's attention.

A few months ago I got a call from a friend who invited me to a "fun" concert at the Peabody with the Joy Formidable, a band I'd seen before at the Firebird and the Luminary and really enjoyed. I immediately said yes and penciled in the date.

Over the Rhine played a beautiful, haunting performance last night at the Old Rock House and spread the love.

There's irony in the fact that what most people know about the band Nada Surf is that they once had a mainstream hit in the '90s by the name of "Popular" -- and that's about it.

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